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CT Scans Found Suitable for Use in Memory Clinics

Study suggests MRI should be the preferred option, but computed tomography almost as good

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients attending a memory clinic, 64-detector row computed tomography (CT) yields findings that are almost as reliable as those from an MRI, according to a study published in the October issue of Radiology.

Mike P. Wattjes, M.D., of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study of 21 men and nine women with a median age of 62 years who were attending a memory clinic, and underwent a 64-detector row CT scan, and on the same day, a multi-sequence MRI of the brain.

Readers blinded to the clinical diagnosis assessed the images in random order and scored them for global cortical atrophy, medial temporal lobe atrophy, and white matter changes. The observers had substantial agreement between CT and MRI for all three categories. For all three measured scales, interobserver variability was low and comparable for CT and MRI.

"Although MR imaging should be the preferred imaging modality due to its lack of ionization and higher contrast resolution, 64-detector row CT is a suitable and accurate imaging method with which to evaluate global cortical atrophy, medical temporal lobe atrophy and white matter changes in a memory clinic setting," the authors write. "It can be considered a nearly equivalent alternative to MR imaging in patients who cannot undergo an MR examination."

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